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Linux's exFAT Driver Looking To Still Be Replaced By A Newer Driver From Samsung

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  • Linux's exFAT Driver Looking To Still Be Replaced By A Newer Driver From Samsung

    Phoronix: Linux's exFAT Driver Looking To Still Be Replaced By A Newer Driver From Samsung

    Introduced with Linux 5.4 was a long-awaited Microsoft exFAT file-system driver albeit within the kernel's staging area and based upon some dated Samsung file-system driver code. That exFAT staging driver was improved upon more with Linux 5.5 but ultimately there is a concurrent effort for replacing it with a driver derived from newer Samsung open-source code and to be merged outside of staging...

    http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?pag...ewer-Option-v8

  • #2
    Hrm interesting. This guy also maintains cifsd, which is a kernel implementation of Samba. I think he also wants to get that upstreamed as well.

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    • #3
      I still don't think anything should be merged before Microsoft frees all the patents around exFAT. So far they haven't even made any progress with donating them to the OIN, and even if they did the OIN just covers OIN members and not everybody else.

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      • #4
        What happened to Paragon's efforts to get their driver into the kernel?

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        • #5
          Originally posted by aksdb View Post
          What happened to Paragon's efforts to get their driver into the kernel?
          What efforts? AFAIK they just sell proprietary drivers (also for Linux).

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          • #6
            Originally posted by starshipeleven View Post
            What efforts? AFAIK they just sell proprietary drivers (also for Linux).
            This ones https://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?pa...T-Paragon-Prop i guess.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by starshipeleven View Post
              What efforts?
              Perhaps you forgot https://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?pa...T-Paragon-Prop

              And after an initial code drop and a bit of back and forth on LKML for the initial read-only driver from Paragon, no additional updated patch versions or code drops were made by Paragon. AFAIK Paragon did not offer any reason why they decided to end their upstream efforts.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by CommunityMember View Post

                Perhaps you forgot https://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?pa...T-Paragon-Prop

                And after an initial code drop and a bit of back and forth on LKML for the initial read-only driver from Paragon, no additional updated patch versions or code drops were made by Paragon. AFAIK Paragon did not offer any reason why they decided to end their upstream efforts.
                Thanks for the info!
                Too bad they just went silent. I would have liked to get some insight into the quality of their drivers (and had some high hopes for that).

                But I guess Samsung's driver should be quite battle proven to be a good addition. We'll see :-)

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by johannesburgel View Post
                  I still don't think anything should be merged before Microsoft frees all the patents around exFAT. So far they haven't even made any progress with donating them to the OIN, and even if they did the OIN just covers OIN members and not everybody else.
                  Unfortunately we are in a position where ExFAT is mandated for certain types of memory card interoperability.

                  Once the OIN definition has been updated to include the newer kernels incluiding ExFAT, it should atleast bring level pegging to this area.

                  In the future, adoption of proprietary software in such standards should be fought tooth and nail.

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                  • #10
                    I do wonder though... FAT32 is also patent encumbered and it's been enforced though the case was settled - see Microsoft v. TomTom. There's a strong argument that, thanks to UEFI requiring a small FAT32 formatted partition on all modern PCs, people now have a right to use alternative implementations not sanctioned by Microsoft. This has never been tested in court, and I doubt Microsoft is willing to fight that Pyrrhic battle under Satya Nadella's leadership.

                    exFAT doesn't have that particular get-out-of-jail-free card. I wouldn't like my chances facing a patent infringement suit on exFAT because it's already been suggested in the FAT32 case that simply using it to read/write flash media may not be enough for a free pass. Fighting patent infringement suits is very expensive and ruinous if you lose. Granted Microsoft has changed under the new leadership, but that doesn't mean they're necessarily going to condone another corporate actor using exFAT without a license. After all the legal argument would go, "If you want to use the hardware you can simply reformat it as a host of other file system formats under Linux", you're just SOL if you want to deal with the default format it comes with. Gotta love software patents - that's sarcasm btw.

                    OpenSUSE and Debian are known to remove patent encumbered code from their binary releases, so even if the driver is in the kernel, that doesn't mean distributions are going to make use of it.

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